I am a sex therapist, and as such, utilize a sexual health approach to treatment. I view all consensual sexuality as affirming, life-giving and essential to our humanity.
With consensual sexuality, I don’t believe it needs to be feared. Unless that is part of what is arousing for you. Our relationship to sex is typically what causes us problems.
Clients that seek me out are typically of two minds. They are in crisis, due to a consequence of their sexual behavior. And they feel conflicted due to the pleasure that they have found in said behaviors. The very thing they want to remove is also the very thing that brings them immense pleasure. What to do?
Therapy is a place to create a new vision of sexual health. Without removing the pleasure. Some treatments are focused on eliminating the sex that was so gratifying for the clients. I believe that sustained treatment has to find a way to integrate personal values and pleasure. As noted sexologist Jack Morin said, “If you go to war with your sexuality, your bound to lose.”
I’m interested in helping clients find a way to integrate sexual pleasure, personal values and relationship agreements. And I see it happening all the time.
I approach therapy from a psychodynamic, strength-based and motivational interviewing perspective.
Psychodynamic means that I’ll be tracking and paying attention to our relationship as part of the treatment. The therapy room is a place where clients get to bring their “symptoms” so that we can experience and understand them together. For example, if you are someone who is avoidant in your personal life, you might find yourself being avoidant with the therapist. The avoidance in the therapy room gets to be observed and discussed and understood from a non-judgmental and non-shaming lens.
Strength based means that I’m going to be looking to reinforce and highlight the choices you’re making that align with your values. Understanding what’s broken is important. But understanding what you’re doing well is equally
so. Positive reinforcement has a much higher predictability towards behavioral change than shaming or judgement. And change is most likely why you’ve come to therapy.
Motivational Interviewing is a clinical model of therapy emerging out of the chemical dependency field. It posits that there are numerous stages of change rather than a single linear point of change. For therapy to be effective, the therapist must understand which stage of readiness the client is in and work with from there.
I have found this to be profoundly useful in my clinical work and to be consistently effective with even the most difficult clinical presentations.